BAE Chimborazo (RA-70), Ecuador Navy

Ecuador Navy Armada Includes WWII Tugboat

“fate unknown” 
— Status of the subject of this post, according to this page

Ecuador Navy ships periodically anchor in Puerto Lopez bay. Military men and women come to town and play fútbol and volleyball, eat at restaurants and generally enjoy some time on land. They are always polite and friendly. Even their casual tops and shorts are identical and well pressed.

Ed, a Peace Corps worker in town, mentioned that the boat currently anchored offshore was previously a WWII tugboat for the USA. I began to research this ship and found it has a long history.

BAE Chimborazo (RA-70) - Formerly USS CHOWANOC
BAE Chimborazo (RA-70) anchored off Puerto Lopez
November 5, 2017

Ecuador’s Navy Armada includes an Abnaki class Fleet Ocean Tug named BAE Chimborazo (RA-70). Initially commissioned for the USA Navy February 21, 1944 as the USS CHOWANOC AT-100, then the USS CHOWANOC AFT-100 May 15, 1944, this tugboat received four battle stars in WWII and one in the Korean War (source here).

The USS CHOWANOC AFT-100 participated in four WWII campaigns, one Korean War campaign, and seven Vietnam War campaigns (source: here).

On October 1, 1977, the tug was transferred to the Ecuador Navy and renamed BAE Chimborazo (RA-70). Today, the BAE Chimborazo (RA-70) is used as a Ecuador Navy training vessel, traveling the 2237 km coastline. It was also used in relief efforts after the 7.8 April 16, 2016 Ecuador Earthquake.

BAE Chimborazo (RA-70) - Formerly USS CHOWANOC
BAE Chimborazo (RA-70) anchored off Puerto Lopez
November 5, 2017

Thanks to Ed of the Peace Corps for mentioning the history of the military ship in harbor. It was an interesting ship to research.

WWII Tugboat repurposed to Ecuador Navy


Emily is a US Expat in Ecuador. She grew up on a Minnesota farm, worked in IT in California's Silicon Valley, then moved to a coastal Ecuador fishing village. Emily's goal is to share Ecuador with you, one snippet at a time. Topics include attractions, compassion, ecotourism, Ecuador products, everyday Ecuador, and flora and fauna. Please let Emily know what you would like to read more about!


  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Emily – love the photos … and what they've managed to help make the old military ship of value to Ecuador today … especially when it comes to relief efforts … I expect Ed has some other ideas up his sleeve for you to look at – cheers Hilary

  • John B Tata


    I was 2nd in command of USS Chowanoc (ATF 100) , 1969-1970. If you would like a history of our operations during 1969, I will be happy to email to you. I hope the old girl is working well for her new owners.

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